Electrophysiological Studies of the Functions of the Nucleus Basalis in Primates

  • Russell T. Richardson
  • Mahlon R. DeLong
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 295)


For nearly two decades, studies of the activity of nucleus basalis neurons in primates have provided insights to the possible functions of this brain structure. In 1971, DeLong noted that many basalis neurons respond vigorously when an animal receives a water reward in an operant conditioning task. Since the mid-1970’s. Rolls and associates have studied basal forebrain neurons that respond selectively to the sight of food or to stimuli associated with food (Mora et al., 1976; Rolls et al., 1979; Wilson and Rolls, 1990). They have suggested that these neurons may be related to feeding and, more recently, to mnemonic processes. Other basalis neurons have response patterns that are somewhat similar to those of neighboring movement-related pallidal neurons, suggesting that the nucleus basalis may be related to basal ganglia function (Mitchell et al., 1987a,b). Subsequent studies from our laboratory have focused broadly on the entire nucleus basalis in an attempt to identify the processes in which it may be directly involved.


Basal Forebrain Delay Period Aversive Stimulus Nucleus Basalis Basalis Neuron 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell T. Richardson
    • 1
  • Mahlon R. DeLong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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